In light of the increased incidents of rape in Saint Lucia, a private business establishment in Mon Repos has decided to host a Women Empowerment Forum.
Manager of Outta Da Box Enterprises and One Stop Mini Mart Kishma Serieux said the event will be held on Wednesday, November 25 and will start at 6 p.m. at the One Stop Mini Mart in Mon Repos.
The forum will coincide with observances for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Serieux said that persons from the local police department along with officials from the Gender Relations Department and instructors in self-defense will be there to address the women.
“We will be looking at rape and domestic violence which encompasses everything from sexual, physical, emotional, economic and psychological abuse,” she explained.
Serieux said the police presentation will focus mainly at ways women can protect themselves and the Gender Relations Department will provide details about support systems that exist for women.
A local self defense instructor, Timothy Francis, will also be on hand to speak on the subject matter and provide some tips for the participants. Subsequent to this event, he will be offering self defense classes.
Asked what led her to organize such an event, Serieux told this publication that her business has long supported community empowerment and development and would like to continue along this path.
She said the main reason however has to do with the recent increased cases of rape and sexual assault on women, particularly the sexual assault of an elderly citizen in the community.
“If you don’t do it then who will and if not now then when, if not you then who? So instead of waiting for something else to happen lets orchestrate change,” Serieux added.
The business woman said often times people speak out about these issues, but nothing is done to prevent it from happening again or educating persons on what they can do to help protect themselves.